It’s more than just singing, said Arnone — it’s a social outlet and a chance to travel for competitions and conferences. Arnone is headed to an international barbershop convention in Toronto, Canada, this summer.
“We say it’s the music that draws people to the style, but it’s the friendship and camaraderie (that keeps them singing),” he said.
Throughout the year, the Northshoremen organize local workshops, fundraisers and educational events for local youngsters, including an annual summer camp. Membership fluxuates between 30 and 40 people, said Arnone.
“We want to share the harmony and introduce people to what the harmony really is,” he said. “... If they can carry a tune, they can sing barbershop harmony.”
Barbershop singing was originally learned by ear, without reading music, he said. That’s where the name “barbershop” comes from — groups would hang out at the local barbershop, singing and learning tunes from each other.
“We don’t use anything beyond a pitch pipe,” said Arnone.
In singing, barbershoppers are always looking for a chord to “lock and ring,” he said — when the notes of a chord come together so perfectly you can hear overtones of additional notes that aren’t being sung.
“That’s when the hair on the back of your neck stands up,” he said, “and you know, ‘oh yeah, we did it.’”
Bethany Bray can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.
IF YOU GO What: Northshoremen annual spring show When: Saturday, May 11, 3 p.m. Where: Beverly High School, 100 Sohier Road Tickets: $20, available at the door. Pre-purchase tickets by calling 978-927-7894 or 978-374-8865, or email firstname.lastname@example.org Information: www.harmonize.com/northshoremen